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Lonely Dog?

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  • 06-05-2017 1:20am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 8,952 ✭✭✭


    Looking for some advice on a couple of different things. Our dog is 8 year old Jack Russell who up until about 18 months ago lived with me and my missus and also another jack Russell (her mother)

    Due to work commitments we had to move overseas for a year and the dogs stayed with my parents. They had a huge fight which meant we almost lost both of them, they were separated, one living with my parents and the other with my sister. When we returned my parents were adamant they were keeping the dog they had and we took back the other dog from my sister.

    Recently we went away for a weekend and put the dog into a kennel for the first time. It didn't go well, the dog refused to eat and ended up in the vet on a drip. The vet thinks she suffers from separation anxiety. My problem is we both work and the dog is alone for 11 hours a day. It was never an issue when we had two but now I'm feeling guilty leaving the dog by herself.

    I've started measuring her food and water, I've noticed she doesn't eat or drink while we are at work. I don't know if anyone has similar experience or advice they can offer? Is a 2nd dog a solution or going to make it worse? The dog gets a lot attention and plenty of walks etc, just really want to try make her miss us less of possible


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,042 ✭✭✭✭tk123


    One of my dogs has separation anxiety and he couldn't care less that my other dog is with him! It's us humans he wants. Like your dog he won't eat when he's very stressed - treats that he'd take your hand off for normally are left to one side.

    What happens if you get the 2nd dog and still have problems - you'd need to be committed to having the second dog either way rather than it being a 'saviour sibling' for want of a better phrase. I was going to suggest fostering but I think it'd be unfair to take a dog if you weren't committed to keeping it either way.

    Could your dog be pining for the other dog do you think?

    There's lots of things you can do to try and build up her tolerance of being alone - you basically start with seconds and slowly work up staying within her comfort levels. What I'd suggest you do first of all is to set up a camera or two and get an idea of what's happening when you're away from the dog eg facetime/skype from your phone to a laptop/ipad/tablet etc or a cheap webcam you can connect to from an app/browser. Ideally record it and then contact a behaviourist and have them come and work out a plan for you - check apdt.ie for one local.

    Another thing - has the dog been vet checked to make sure there's nothing medical you're not aware of?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,952 ✭✭✭duffman13


    tk123 wrote: »
    One of my dogs has separation anxiety and he couldn't care less that my other dog is with him! It's us humans he wants. Like your dog he won't eat when he's very stressed - treats that he'd take your hand off for normally are left to one side.

    What happens if you get the 2nd dog and still have problems - you'd need to be committed to having the second dog either way rather than it being a 'saviour sibling' for want of a better phrase. I was going to suggest fostering but I think it'd be unfair to take a dog if you weren't committed to keeping it either way.

    Could your dog be pining for the other dog do you think?

    There's lots of things you can do to try and build up her tolerance of being alone - you basically start with seconds and slowly work up staying within her comfort levels. What I'd suggest you do first of all is to set up a camera or two and get an idea of what's happening when you're away from the dog eg facetime/skype from your phone to a laptop/ipad/tablet etc or a cheap webcam you can connect to from an app/browser. Ideally record it and then contact a behaviourist and have them come and work out a plan for you - check apdt.ie for one local.

    Another thing - has the dog been vet checked to make sure there's nothing medical you're not aware of?

    Thanks for the reply, don't think the 2nd dog is the right option really but if it was going to have a hugely positive affect id go for it. I love dogs and would prefer two but I don't think it is fair on my current dog.

    I don't think she's pining for the other dog, they've been separated for over a year and are both fine. It's definitely human contact shes pining for.

    Great idea with the camera, I think I'll put two up and get an idea of what's happening during the day. As regards the vets, we had her down when we got her back from the kennels, they couldn't find anything medically wrong, she had to go on a drip for 24 hours and was fine when she came back to us. All blood work came back fine etc, the vet thinks the dog is suffering from separation anxiety.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Could you use a doggy day care? 11 hours a day is a huge amount of the time to be alone. Assuming you sleep around 8 hours a night that's only 5 hours a day the dog has company. I'm not trying to make you feel bad. You obviously love the dog and are really worried about her happiness but that does seem a lonely life.
    Maybe I don't have all the facts. Does a dog walker or anyone call in during the day?


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